Liverpool, United Kingdom: South Africa started their first game of the Vitality Netball World Cup preliminary stage two groups against Scotland where they wanted to continue their perfect winning record in this tournament and against Scotland whom they have never lost against in the past. They did just that and the SPAR Proteas beat Scotland 66-38 on Monday evening at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool to move closer to a spot in the semi-finals.
SPAR Proteas Coach Norma Plummer made a number of changes to the team that upset Jamaica just 24 hours ago. Renske Stoltz was paired up with the on fire Lenize Potgieter and Zanele Vimbela joined Phumza Maweni in defence. South Africa drew first blood by scoring two quick goals however Scotland recovered quickly and claimed the lead which they retained for the better part of the first quarter. The SPAR Proteas took the game to Scotland and managed to regain their lead taking the game 14 -10 by the end of the first quarter.
The beginning of the second quarter was no different as South Africa continued to apply pressure and exert their authority on the Scottish. Substitute Khanyisa Chawane marshalled and controlled the middle of the court very well, she came off the bench at the start of the quarter and settled in very comfortably in that centre position. Handling errors became a thing for Scotland as they gave away possession cheaply and the SPAR Proteas made sure that they get punished for such. South Africa went into the half time leading 32 -20. Scotland seemed to be stuck at the 10 point per quarter mark as they managed to only score 10 goals still as per the first quarter.
Coach Plummer introduced Sigi Burger at the start of the third quarter to replace Renske Stoltz, Maryka Holtzhausen came in the place of Lenize Potgieter and Karla Pretorius came in the place of Phumza Maweni. The fresh legs of Burger hit the ground as she continued to pile the pressure upfront and converting her chances.
The SPAR Proteas game plan seems to be around speed and agility, the Scotland team couldn’t keep up the pace of the game. South Africa seemed to be running away with this game halfway through the third quarter. At the end of the quarter South Africa were leading 49 – 32.
The start of the last quarter of the game saw the SPAR Proteas finishing off the game with the introduction of the experienced Erin Burger and reintroduction of the captain back on court. The Proteas won the game 64 -37 extending their winless streak to nine out of nine and Karla Pretorius earned herself the player of the match accolade which was her second one in as many days.
The SPAR Proteas makes it a clean sweep of four wins in four days. They will take on fellow African counterparts in Uganda on Wednesday 17th July 2019 at 20:00 SA Time. If South Africa win their game against sixth world ranked Uganda they will earn themselves a semi final spot.